Suns of Arqa
Corbett vs. Dempsey
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Perhaps the greatest record in the Suns of Arqa discography, Seven was released in 1987 and was in fact the band’s fifth LP. With its stunning cover design and outlandishly ambitious sound, steeped in dub but festooned with plainchant and Indian music, it was alone in the market, its closest relatives maybe African Head Charge or New Age Steppers, but with a host of original ideas and musical intersections and an incredible, almost unthinkable cast of participants. Among the singers is the British singer-songwriter Helen Watson, punk poet John Cooper Clarke, talk-over star Prince Hammer, and comedic genius Professor Stanley Unwin, all of whom offer their unique and unconventional words to the dub stew. A powerhouse Jamaican rhythm section is filtered through sitar, shenai, santoor, and tabla, hurdy-gurdy and pennywhistle, strings and saxophone, all orchestrated by the inimitable Michael Wadada, founding father of Suns of Arqa. On this reissue, Seven’s first time available in the U.S., the LP’s cover has been restored to its initial glory for the first time on CD, and the original music is available complete in one package for the first time, adding five extra tracks not included on the LP.
Recorded in 1979 at Berry Street Studio, London